The best remaining free agent is off the table as the Texas Rangers have reportedly agreed to a seven-year deal with outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
According to ESPN, the deal is worth $130 million. That’s somewhat surprising considering Choo reportedly turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the New York Yankees. According to reports, Choo was seeking “Jacoby Ellsbury money.” Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yanks earlier this offseason.
The deal was first reported by CBS’ Jon Heyman:
The signing means that Nelson Cruz has likely played his last games at Arlington. Cruz missed 50 games last season because of a suspension for performance enhancing drugs but still managed to put up 27 home runs and 76 RBI. The deal also means the Rangers aren’t likely to fork over big money to pursue Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
Choo played 154 games in his first season in Cincinnati last season, posting a .285/.423/.462 line with 21 home runs, 54 RBI, 107 runs, and 20 stolen bases. Over his last five seasons with the Reds and Indians, Choo is averaging 21 home runs, 78 RBI, 94 runs, and 23 steals per 162 games.
Choo joins an already improved Rangers roster after the team traded Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder. The Rangers also added outfielder Alex Rios in a trade with the White Sox late last season.